The decision by IG Group to suspend leveraged trading in around 900 shares (FT/paywall) this week has been echoing round social media. I suspect that many Stockopedia subscribers will be affected by this change. 

Indeed, when I first saw the announcement, it struck me that many SIF folio holdings might be on the list, but it seems not to be the case. To the best of my knowledge, only two stocks in the SIF folio are affected at the time of writing. These are gold miner Polymetal International and iron/steel group Evraz - both FTSE 100 shares. 

Clearly small caps aren’t the only stocks being targeted. The list I’ve seen of all the stocks affected includes companies of all sizes and many leveraged ETFs. My impression is that the common theme is that investor sentiment is very strongly bullish, making hedging these positions too expensive to be worthwhile. 

Naturally, I am a little uncomfortable holding stocks where sentiment appears to have become so lopsided. I fear a sharp correction, but I believe both Polymetal and Evraz are fundamentally sound. I don’t intend to take any action in this unusual situation.

However, my standard rules of selling after a profit warning or on a 25% drop will remain. Given that both stocks are FTSE 100 shares, I hope this will be enough to allow me a controlled exit from these positions if needed.

Moving on. It’s the last week of February, so it’s time for my monthly review of all SIF stocks that have been held for nine months or more. Four companies make the cut this week:

  • Used car supermarket chain Motorpoint Group (LON:MOTR)

  • Construction and infrastructure firm Morgan Sindall Group (LON:MGNS)

  • Housebuilder Countryside Properties (LON:CSP)

  • German commercial property firm Sirius Real Estate (LON:SRE)

I’ll review each of these against my selling criteria to see whether they can stay in the portfolio or if they must be sold.

But first, let’s take a quick look at the performance of the portfolio over the last month.

SIF Folio: February performance

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, SIF has been hitting record highs recently. The portfolio has pulled back in line with the wider market since mid-February but is still hovering around its all-time high:


(SIF = blue line, FTSE All-Share index = grey line)

The portfolio has…

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